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Mouse on Mars play 7th Street, backed by mystery group

MINNEAPOLIS – Monday night’s show at Minneapolis’ 7th Street Entry was filled with the kind of electronic music that would ruffle fans’ clothes and vibrate their organs. IDM veterans Mouse on Mars came to deliver this experience with the help of mystery Minneapolis house music project Dreamweapon on Feb. 25.

With the doors opening at 7:30 p.m., the pre-show music faded along with the lights an hour later to the audible murmurings of fans speculating who the mystery opening act, Dreamweapon, was. Out came five slender men to surround what looked like a spaceship control station in the middle of the dance floor with no less than 20 analogue music components attached to it.  Fans were able to surround the men as they played, giving them a point of view that is rarely possible.

It turned out to be only the seventh show for a brand new collaboration project between members of Minneapolis bands Food Pyramid and Daughters of the Sun.

“We quite literally just started this new house music project,” said Daughters of the Sun founder, Nick Koenigs. “We are just trying to figure things out at this point, but we’ll definitely be putting more shows together this spring.”

Dreamweapon had a very noisy and industrial set, always supported by a viciously pounding house music beat. The five-piece group was constantly in communication throughout the set, occasionally laughing and coordinating with each other to keep their many moving parts in synchronization. Among the instrumental aspects of their songs, Koenigs would pick up a microphone and emit monotone vocals that were put through a series of effects machines. His style recalled that of Liars front man Angus Andrew, who has a very similar approach to vocals within their own industrial sound.

Mouse on Mars came on next to the loud screams of a crowd of over 100 people, according to a loose count done by the 7th Street Entry staff. The crowd, despite being a lot smaller than the packed club venues that the electronic duo are used to, made up for size in enthusiasm. At times, Andi Toma and Jan St. Werner would look up from their performance to see nearly everyone dancing. This would cause the duo to trade glances, smile and almost appear to giggle.

Their set, mostly in support of their new releases, left most of their older music behind for a more pop-heavy collection of club-oriented music. There were few open spaces in their music, the duo filling every sonic inch of their set with a full spectrum of sounds that would attack your ears with surprising clarity.

Electronic music shows are sometimes stereotyped in a negative light. Some will describe these types of shows as a “CD playing party” where an artist does not do much more than “turn knobs”. However, Mouse on Mars is best known for their intense live performances.

“We come into a show with really just a general framework in mind of the songs we will play,” Toma said. “We play these songs manually so that every experience is organic.”

Playing in front of a screen filled with a moving video that looked like a malfunctioning Atari game, the two men could be seen dancing wildly to the music they were playing. The group performed an hour long set, and came back out after a break to play a 30-minute encore performance.

Mouse on Mars has been around for nearly two decades, and are on tour supporting their 10th studio album, “Parastrophics,” and a mini release named “WOW”.

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